Many people realize that regular exercise comes with many physical benefits, but have you ever wondered about the mental benefits of exercise? There has been much research devoted to this topic and without a doubt, there are some significant mental benefits associated with exercise. Even just one exercise session releases endorphins in your brain that create a feeling of happiness. So just imagine what a regular exercise routine can do for you! So what other mental benefits of exercise have studies found?
Exercise acts to improve your mood in an attack from all sides. From physical changes in your brain, to improving your body image, to releasing chemicals in your body, it is pretty neat to see all of the ways in which physical activity can improve your mood! Some of these effects can be noticed instantly after an intense workout while others are a net effect, which take some time and regularity to build up. Either way, the mental benefits of exercise are undeniable.
Regular physical exercise can actually "rewire" your brain in a way that promotes an overall feeling of well-being. Studies have found that exercise can reduce brain inflammation and promote neural growth as well. Both of these help to fight depression as well as keep your brain healthy. While those effects require a regular and continued routine, there are some instant depression fighting benefits as well. Maybe you are experiencing situational depression after a particularly difficult event. Exercise can be a great way to get your mind off of the subject and let you cool down to address the situation in a more calm manner. In addition, the endorphins released can help you feel more positive in the moment.
In today's fast moving world, the number of people who report feeling stressed is at an all-time high. Work issues, family problems, school, deadlines, and more can contribute to feeling stressed. Taking out some time for yourself is a great way to relieve stress. Exercising produces norepinephrine which helps reduce stress levels. Again, exercising is a great way to get your focus off of something that is bothering you and instead focus on whatever exercise you may be doing. This is why certain disciplines, such as yoga, are so highly praised for their relaxation and calming effects. Concentrating in the moment will make you completely forget about whatever may be stressing you out!
If you aren't happy about the way you look, getting in shape can give you a big confidence boost. At the end of the day, only you can determine what your ideal body image is, but one thing is for sure. If you look good in your eyes, you'll feel good too! Whether you want to shed a couple of pounds or go for a total-body makeover, regular exercise can help you achieve the body image you desire.
When you walk into any type of fitness class, whether it is yoga, Pilates, barre, Zumba, or anything else, you instantly share at least one thing in common with everybody else in that room! Think about it, that is a pretty rare experience! In class environments, many members find new lifetime friends. Everyone feels good when they make a new friend, plus you have the added benefit of helping motivate each other!
Lack of sleep has a huge effect on your mood. All of us have experienced a night where we didn't get great sleep and felt cranky the next day. Compare that to a day where you helped a friend moved or spent the day doing yard work - I bet you slept like a log! Physical activity is a great way to help improve both the quality and the quantity of sleep you get. Exercise will help you fall asleep faster, as well as sleep more deeply. With all of the negative effects of not getting enough sleep, this one reason is enough for many to exercise!
While these are only five mental benefits of exercise, there are many more! In addition to the ones we've gone over, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive ability, keep your memory sharp, and even help with addiction. With busy schedules, it may seem like you don't have time to add exercise into your daily routine, but even a few hours a week will improve your mental well-being.
Never Exercised Before?
If you have been wanting to start a regular exercise routine, but just aren't sure where to start, we can help. At The Mat, we offer classes for all levels of experience. Our family atmosphere and experienced instructors make sure that you feel comfortable and allow you to move at your own pace. We offer a wide range of classes, so you can be sure you will find one that will be interesting to you! We also offer a new member special so you can try unlimited classes for you first month for only $49! Contact us today to learn more!